Jesonian … June 30th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3719)

He had done an excellent job explaining his “View.” He was plugging a new book.

Over the years I had enjoyed his commentary and appearances on television, as he invites a bit of grace and “courtly” into the American thoroughfare of thought.

The segment was winding down when he was asked a question about a recent retaliation a Congresswoman had proffered toward one of her enemies. I saw his countenance change. Suddenly, he appeared beleaguered. Perhaps merely pursuing kindness had left him in despair, causing him to look for more aggressive weapons to address all the surrounding demons.

He replied, “I know we’re supposed to turn the other cheek. That’s what Jesus said. But there’s a reason there’s only one Jesus.”

I stalled. There was a grumbling of approval from the audience, but I did sense that many of them, like me, were hoping that the words “turn the other cheek” had great validity–considering the fact that the alternative offers nothing but disaster.

When has retaliation afforded any lasting effect? Certainly all despots and murderous dictators have to eventually be ousted from power, but it does not keep them from coming back.

We need a more permanent solution.

We need to know that in the midst of making progress, we are actually progressing.

It would be absolutely divine to sense that God is with us. Can we take a moment to take a look at “turn the other cheek?”

The law of that day (and also our day) was “an eye for an eye.” So “turn the other cheek” was a clever way of explaining the process of losing your eye.

It begins with a hit to your face. No one is going to extract your eye without striking you. It is unlikely that the first blow will dislodge your peeper. So it offers the quandary:

Shall I fight back and lose an eye, or maybe die, or end up doing the kill against my will?

At this moment, the reasonable nature of a survivor needs to kick in to provide the possibility for sustaining life. Without this, something will be lost.

Every time two people fight, there are casualties on both sides. No one has been able to come up with a “clean war”–or even an argument free of damage.

And the question is, how many times can we be damaged before we’re beyond repair? And long before we’re beyond repair, are we not without faith?

Turning the other cheek is not a noble concept, lived out by an itinerant Nazarene minister two thousand years ago. It is the clever, intelligent, intuitive and revelatory approach to avoid losing your eye or being forced into extracting life from another.

Whether we like it or not, once we kill, we are murderers. Once we damage, we are destroyers.

The thing my brother failed to realize is that even though turning the other cheek demands that I use much more of my intellect than I would tapping my baboon instincts, those jungle antics always leave some creature dead.

A slap on the cheek is the beginning of an attempt to squash your eye.

You can either retaliate and hope that you are stronger, or, as you bleed out on the ground from your head, wonder if it might not have been better to interrupt the process by turning the other cheek–to buy time for more reasonable negotiations to be considered.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

WEakness and EXcuses … July 23, 2012

(1,585)

Revelations at 4:43 A.M. are so sweet because they are simple-minded and catch us in a vulnerable emotional state between sleep and awakening, making us much more pliable to gentle nudging. I had such an experience this very day.

I stirred to an awareness that the word WEakness begins with WE.

WE. Yes, we are all in this together. If we get off of our high horse of politics, religion and regionalism, and relax with one another, we will understand that our commonality creates a delicious recipe of fellowship mingled with empathy, punctuated by a little bit of comedy. We get in trouble when we try to escape the “we” in weakness and pretend that we are incapable of error.

This made me realize that the word EXcuses begins with EX. Excuses happen when we resign from the “we” part of the human race and start believing that we are an entity unto ourselves, floating somewhere between the rest of the family of man and God, Himself. It makes us look stupid, ugly and keeps us guilty and nervous. So the more we try to be better than other people, the less we become.

Unfortunately, our educational system, churches and culture do little to alleviate this paradox. After all, you’re just as likely to learn deception in your church as in your local bar. There doesn’t seem to be anyplace in our society where the WE in WEakness is celebrated for its universality. Because of this, all sorts of evil springs up through cover-up. For after all, sin is not an action, but rather, our cunning reaction in our attempt to portray that nothing really bad has happened. So we have:

1. The beauty of “we are human.”  It should be a celebration. Just look at us. We have the emotional heart that would absolutely befuddle a baboon. We have a soul created in the image of God, a mind untapped of its vast potentials and a body that just may be the hit parade of all the best features of God’s creatures. Yet instead of immortalizing the fact that we are human, we come up with the insipid response, “Excuse me, I’m only human.” What was meant to be a compliment–being called a human being–is now degraded by our culture and art into an animalistic metaphor, turning human beings into vampires and werewolves, insisting that we’re all Breaking Bad instead of seeking good and the assumption that left to ourselves, at heart we’re vicious. It’s an awful lot of bad publicity we create–just so we can have the opportunity to use it the next time we’re late for an appointment.

2. The second powerful part of the WE in WEakness is “We don’t know.” That’s why they call it faith. We don’t know.

  • We don’t know if there’s a heaven.
  • We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
  • We don’t know if our abilities will be enough to pull off the next project.

We don’t know. It makes us delightfully vulnerable, especially when we get around other folks who join us and admit that together, we don’t know. We don’t know how we’re going to solve our economic situation. We don’t know what’s waiting around the corner. We don’t know if it’s safe to go to a movie theater anymore. It will not strike terror in our hearts if we merge with each other, admit this family secret, and therefore watch out for each other.

But instead, we seem to be obsessed with the mantra, “EXcuse my ignorance.” We want to be able to hide behind the fact that we’re extremely intelligent–except in this one case. We want to be able to use ignorance as a bargaining chip, to be absolved of all responsibility for our participation. Ignorance is not only a horrible excuse in an age of information, it’s nearly unexplainable. “We don’t know” is actually a stimulation to learn. “Excuse my ignorance” is a demand that you accept me in my ongoing incompleteness.

3. And the final WE in WEakness is “We make mistakes.” Just the other day, I was telling my dear friend, Janet that I’ve reached the point in my life when I enjoy my mistakes as much as I do those occasions when I’m correct. I know I learn more. And if I’m willing to step into my mistakes and own them, I not only open the door to new possibilities, but I communicate to the friends and acquaintances around me that I can be trusted. For I will tell you of a certainty–anyone who is willing to admit their mistakes probably has most of their other demons on the run. When you’re not willing to say, “We make mistakes” what you end up whispering to the world around you is, “Excuse my lying.”

Matter of fact, as I watch television, I realize that the decay in our society has occurred not because we are in a global atmosphere of evil empires or financial breakdown, but rather, that somewhere along the line, we have decided that lying is inevitable. We have ceased to believe that it is a choice and instead, have adopted it as a human trait.

It is the destruction of our society. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. If we didn’t make mistakes and acknowledge them, we would probably still be trying to figure out how to move large objects without using a wheel and think that owning slaves was supported by adequate protocol. But we must realize that lying is not in the human DNA, but rather, is a virus that infects the human soul.

So if we’re willing to live in a world of WEakness, punctuated and begun with WE, we come up with these three blessed conclusions:

  • We are human.
  • We don’t know
  • We make mistakes.

Any society with citizens who would agree on those statements would also lay the goundwork for prosperity, purity and peace. But instead, we have allowed in the EX factor:

  • Excuse me, I’m only human.
  • Excuse my ignorance.
  • Excuse my lying.

This huge door of mediocrity opens the way to everything from cheating on an exam to mass murder.

I return to the enthusiasm I felt upon realizing this morning that WEakness begins with WE. Nothing good will happen until we accept this fact and open our hearts to each other in brother and sisterhood.

WE can do this–unless we decide to make EXcuses. This is why the Bible makes it clear that when we are weak, we are strong.

Because the WE in WEakness gives us a world full of allies instead of running from the world around us, hoping they don’t discover our lack.

   

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: